Can Dogs Eat Walnuts? – Things You Need to Know if Your Dog Eats Them

can dogs eat walnuts

Undoubtedly, nuts serve as a healthy snack option for people. However, is it safe for dogs to consume walnuts?

Walnuts are especially dangerous for our pets because eating too many can be as toxic to your pet as eating multiple chocolate bars.

The point is…

There are better options than these tasty and protein-packed treats for your dog. Though it’s difficult to ignore your four-legged friend’s longing eyes while munching on nuts like walnuts, it’s best to keep this snack to yourself. 

If you’re a pet owner, you’d often wonder if can dogs eat walnuts.

The dangers of walnut consumption for dogs range from intestinal blockages and GI distress to severe conditions like pancreatitis. 

Are Walnuts Safe for Dogs?

Did you know…..

Despite their small size, all nuts are high in fat and calories. Even if it is only a small snack or treat, a little goes a long way.

Many dogs may benefit from avoiding nuts in favor of a safer treat that contains fewer calories, less fat, and salt, and poses less risk of toxicity.

For the worst part…..

Walnuts have a high moisture content, and because of that fungi can begin to grow at any stage (shelled or not) of their growth process, from harvest to store shelf.

Some fungi that can grow on walnuts produce carcinogenic metabolites called mycotoxins, while others produce tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause tremors and seizures.

While it is possible to boil and thoroughly dry walnuts to remove mold, it may not be worth the effort for dogs, as there are plenty of other treats that are safe to eat as-is.

But, don’t you worry…

Here are some of the dangers you should address before you consider giving your dogs nuts as treats.

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts? 3 Things You Need to Know

1. Nuts contain a lot of fat, which can lead to pancreatitis.

Dog eats walnuts. It serves as one of the great dog treats.

But…

The high-fat content of moldy walnut can cause GI upset in dogs with sensitive stomachs or those predisposed to pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes irritated and inflamed, necessitating a trip to the veterinarian.

Symptoms include a loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and, in some cases, diarrhea. Some breeds, such as Schnauzers, are predisposed to this condition, and a high-fat diet can sometimes exacerbate the irritation in sensitive dogs.

2. They are high in calories and may contribute to weight gain.

Nuts should be avoided for dogs especially some store bought walnuts that are overweight or prone to weight gain, as there are much lower-calorie human foods that could be given as treats instead.

If you give your dog small amounts of peanut butter to take pills, the calories provided by all combined treats (including the peanut butter) should not exceed 10% of their total daily calories.

This helps to keep treats from disrupting your dog’s diet and lowers the number of fatty foods in its body.

3. Nutshells are Toxic for Dogs

Nuts can be coated with cocoa or spices like garlic and pepper for dog treats but they can also have a high salt content.

The black walnuts and English walnuts aren’t safe after all…

Those tasty coatings can cause GI upset in dogs, and the high salt content is hazardous for a variety of reasons.

The potential mold especially the black mold in walnut should not be consumed.

It has too much salt which can cause high blood pressure in some dogs.

High-salt foods can aggravate the conditions of other dogs prone to developing urinary stones or are prone to developing urinary stones or have underlying heart or kidney disease.

What Will Happen If Your Dog Consumes Walnuts?

If your dog accidentally consumes a walnut, look for vomiting, tremors, and seizures, and contact your veterinarian immediately because the condition can be fatal if left untreated, especially in a small dog, puppy, or geriatric dog.

Human foods high in fat, such as walnuts, can upset your dog’s stomach and cause the usual symptoms of tummy troubles, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

However, in some cases, eating walnuts can lead to the development of more serious conditions such as pancreatitis or gastroenteritis.

This is why give them small quantities of nuts if necessary otherwise don’t.

Pancreatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the pancreas, whereas gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (particularly the stomach and intestines).

Both of these conditions, particularly pancreatitis, can be life-threatening and extremely toxic for your dog.

Health Benefits of Walnuts for Dogs

Tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, are high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that have been shown to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure in humans.

Fresh walnuts are particularly high in protein, antioxidants, and omega oils.

Can our four-legged friends reap the same advantages?

According to experts, our canine counterparts cannot fully benefit from the health benefits of nuts. Their digestive systems are incapable of handling nuts as well as ours.

Can Dogs Eat Other Nuts?

Veterinarians generally do not recommend any nuts for dogs, but the only ones that are thought to be slightly less harmful are peanuts, cashews, and almonds.

These nuts all contain nutrients such as fiber and protein which improves gut health.

They can still cause stomach upset or intestinal blockages…and you should be especially cautious with any nuts that contain flavorings such as salt.

You should never give your dog macadamia nuts because they are extremely toxic to dogs.

Read more about what other nuts are toxic for your pet.

FAQS

What happens if a dog eats a walnut?

Walnuts can cause intestinal blockage and are a choking hazard. Intestinal obstruction can cause stomach upset and harm to your dog’s digestive system. 

Furthermore, processed walnut products may contain coatings or flavorings that contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Will one walnut hurt my dog?

All sorts of walnut including black walnut and English walnuts are rich in toxic compounds which are bad for your dogs’ health.

What nuts are poisonous to dogs?

Walnuts, macadamia nuts, black walnut, old and moldy walnut, tree nuts raw Cashews, and pistachios are necessarily toxic, high in risk, and can cause ingestion and an upset stomach. 

Therefore it is suggested that if you treat your canines, make sure you use small quantities.

What part of walnuts is toxic for dogs?

The mold. Mold can grow on the kernel or the shell. A particular concern with walnuts for dogs is that they harbor a mold called Aspergillus flavus which is fatal and if gets stuck refer to a vet.

Images from Unsplash.com

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